New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has given all 500 of its staff a $55 pounamu at a total cost of over $30,000 – in the latest example of extravagant spending involving Steven Joyce agencies, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark.
“The NZTE financial review has revealed that in June 2015, NZTE spent $30,060 on jewellery as gifts for staff.
The chair and chief executive of NZTE must apologise for denying that funding for the Saudi Arabian Food Security Partnership was suspended, despite a board paper confirming it, Labour MP David Parker says.
“The document obtained by Labour under the Official Information Act states funding for ‘the Al Khalaf agri-hub’ was suspended days after the Auditor General commenced her inquiry.
The Whitehead report into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's handling of the Rizalman case confirms Murray McCully and his office knew officials were planning to let the diplomat leave but didn’t intervene, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.
“The report did not investigate Minister Murray McCully’s involvement, or otherwise, in this issue.
It is scurrilous that the Government is pushing ahead with plans to spend many millions of taxpayer money on an abattoir in Saudi Arabia without knowing who’ll end up owning it, Labour MP David Parker says.
“More than $12 million of taxpayer money has been wasted on the Al Khalaf ‘demonstration’ farm in the desert, including the scandalous $4m cash payment exposed last year.
A guilty plea from a Malaysian diplomat charged with indecent assault can’t be used by the Government as an excuse to wash its hands of the affair, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.
“While Malaysian diplomat Muhammad Rizalman might have pleaded guilty to indecent assault, the Government still has some serious explaining to do.
The ongoing cover-up of the Saudi sheep scandal has reached new lows with the Primary Industries Minister saying releasing a taxpayer-funded report into the lamb deaths isn’t in the public interest despite admitting he hasn’t read it, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.
“Question Time is becoming a farce when ministers are able to dodge questions in this way. Nathan Guy was asked a direct primary question on the NZTE report into the 80 per cent death rate of lambs on the Saudi sheep farm but admitted he had not even read the report.
With Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party looking to have won a landslide victory in Myanmar’s first proper democratic election in decades the next big challenge will be the smooth handing over of power by the current military-backed government, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.
The MP has just returned from Myanmar where he served as an election observer.
Trade Minister Tim Groser has been forced to admit in Parliament that South Korea can ban New Zealanders buying Korean homes after refusing to acknowledge this previously, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker says
“National has blundered badly in its Korean free trade agreement.
National refuses to fix its major blunder in the Korean FTA which allows Kiwi homes to be sold to Korean investors – creating a flow on effect with other trade partners such as China, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.
“Tim Groser got this wrong. It is all the more remarkable when the Australians have managed to keep the right to ban foreign home buyers in their FTA.
John Key needs to assure New Zealanders that his government knew nothing - and was in no way implicated - with Australia’s apparent policy of paying people-smugglers to keep refugees from its borders, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.
“Today’s report from Amnesty International backs claims that Australian officials have been making cash payments to Indonesian people-smuggling rings and underlines the need for a full independent inquiry into the matter.